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MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2007
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Sophomore David Mims, front, and ninth-grader Dylon Parker, middle, work together on a stretching drill as Hatton head coach Tyler Berryman observes others at practice Tuesday.
Daily photo by Michael Wetzel
Sophomore David Mims, front, and ninth-grader Dylon Parker, middle, work together on a stretching drill as Hatton head coach Tyler Berryman observes others at practice Tuesday.

HIGH SCHOOL COUNTDOWN
High hopes
in Hatton

With new coach running team, Hornets aim to get back into playoffs

Fourteenth in a series

By Michael Wetzel
mwetzel@decaturdaily.com · 340-2462

HATTON — It wasn’t that long ago. As a matter of fact, it’s still fresh on Tyler Berryman’s mind.

The first-year Hatton High football coach remembers playing fullback and linebacker for the Hornets in the early 1990s. His senior season in 1994 saw the Hornets go 10-3 before losing in the semifinals of the state playoffs.

He said after he graduated from college, he wanted a good-paying job where he could retire early. But he said he found himself always coming back to sports and coaching.

Now, the 31-year-old has the task of returning his alma mater to the playoffs. Berryman was an assistant with last year’s squad, which finished 3-7. That marked Hatton’s second straight year to miss the playoffs after a six-year run in which the Hornets made it five times.

“I never thought of being the head coach here,” Berryman said. “I really didn’t. I wanted a nice-paying job somewhere, but I found myself coming back and coming back and I finally realized coaching is what I wanted to do.”

He credits his coach during his prep days, Royal Carpenter, for instilling ways to be a productive and successful citizen.

“I saw the impact Coach Carpenter had on people and had on me,” Berryman said. “I’m now doing just that, and I am glad it is at Hatton. Hatton is where my heart is.”

Graduation snatched multi-talented Preston Massey and Nathan Berryman from the Hornets. But this year’s roster lists 12 seniors.

“We’re relying heavily on our seniors to show the other kids how to play,” Berryman said. “We’re going back to a more run-oriented multiple offense. Defensively, we’ll run a multiple style and split 50.”

The split 50 is designed to stop the run.

Berryman likes his offensive look with junior Tevin Terrell (5-foot-7, 150 pounds) back as quarterback.

Senior Anthony Parker and sophomore David Mims (5-8, 150) are the two who are expected to get plenty of carries at tailback. Handling blocking and rushing duties at fullback will be senior Scotty Parrish and sophomore Nick Hood.

Receiving targets for Terrell will be seniors Cameron Logston and Clint Proctor and juniors Caleb Hatton, Riley Terry and Chase Martin.

“We’re pretty solid up front, too,” Berryman said. “We’ve got a good group of senior linemen who know their jobs.”

Senior tackle Lee Allen (6-0, 270) and junior center Nathan Liles anchor the line. Senior Barry Pool (5-10, 185), who benches 265 pounds, will be the other tackle. Seniors Andrew LouAllen and Lance Cottingham (6-0, 240) are penciled in at the guard positions.

Berryman is counting on freshman Dylon Parker to step up as big as his size. The ninth-grader is 6-2, 275 pounds and will play defensive tackle.

Senior John Carpenter (5-10, 175) will play nose guard and sophomore Schylyn Sivley (6-3, 185) will join Allen, Parrish, Hood and Colton Parker on the defensive line.

Liles and Pool will play linebacker.

Mims, Terrell, Anthony Parker, Casey Parker, Proctor, Logston and Martin will share time in the defensive backfield for the Hornets, Berryman said.

Proctor is working as the first-team place-kicker, and Riley Terry will do the punting.

When Berryman scans the practice field at his assistant coaches, he has good reason to smile.

Matt Whitt is the other returning coach from last year’s squad. Whitt is working with defensive backs and wide receivers.

Ricky Thompson joins the Hornets after a stint at Mount Hope. Thompson will work with the offensive and defensive line units. The same goes for assistant Gary Steadman. Junior varsity head coach Brian King is helping out with the varsity’s quarterbacks and running backs. Chad Dawson is a line coach, and Berryman even has his former head coach Royal Carpenter on board.

“Between all of our playing and coaching, we probably have more than 100 years of experience,” Berryman said.

That type of experience has Berryman focused on an immediate goal for his 58 players.

“We’re going to hit like Hatton used to hit,” he said. “There won’t be any quit in any of these guys. We took one game at a time when I played, and we will do that here again.”

As for scoring points, Berryman said he is counting on his defense and special teams to contribute.

“Our goal is to score two offensive touchdowns, one defensive touchdown and one special teams touchdown each game,” he said. “If we can do that, we’ll win this year.

“These are good kids, and they are capable of doing whatever they put their minds to.”

Berryman said he was encouraged by the “near 100 percent participation” in summer workouts, which concentrated on weight lifting, agility and conditioning.

“We’re not in game shape yet, but overall, we’re in pretty good shape. We’ll be fully prepared for our opener.”

Hatton hosts Lawrence County rival Class 1A Speake on Aug. 30 in its season opener. The following week, the Hornets will host Class 2A powerhouse Addison.

Hatton High at a glance

  • Last season: 3-7. Did not make the Class 2A state playoffs.

  • Head coach: Tyler Berryman (first year as head coach).

  • Noteworthy: Berryman has his team focused on one game at a time, but he realizes that to make it to the state playoffs, his team must compete in a region that includes powers such as Tanner, West Morgan, Red Bay and Addison. ... The Hornets will get a look at their on-the-field talent when they travel to Vina on Aug. 23 for a jamboree contest. ... Berryman replaces Paul Czervionke, who guided the Hornets to a 4-16 record in his two years as head coach.

    Michael Wetzel

    Hatton High schedule, results

    2007 schedule

    8-30

    vs. Speake

    9-7

    vs. Addison (R)

    9-14

    at Cherokee (R)

    9-21

    vs. Winston Co. (R)

    9-28

    at Lawrence County

    10-5

    at West Morgan (R)

    10-12

    vs. Tanner (R)

    10-19

    at Phil Campbell (R)

    10-26

    vs. Red Bay (R)

    11-2

    vs. East Lawrence

    (R)-Class 2A, Region 8


    2006 results
    at Speake L, 40-20
    at Addison L, 48-15
    vs. Cherokee L, 28-24
    at Winston County W, 38-14
    vs. Lawrence County L, 49-42
    vs. West Morgan L, 31-21
    at Tanner L, 19-7
    vs. Phil Campbell W, 28-20
    at Red Bay L, 28-6
    at East Lawrence W, 15-14

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